However, doctors and scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) are developing cutting edge prosthetics to improve the lives of amputees. Today, advances in technology are enabling amputees to ride bikes, grip bottles and even run.
The market is lucrative: Össur, one of the world's leading prosthetics makers, estimates that in 2012, the size of the prosthetic market in the U.S., EMEA and Asia regions was between $850-$950 million.
"Development is accelerating at an unprecedented pace," Dr Levi Hargrove said in Episode 3 of CNBC's Innovation Cities. "We're moving from devices that just open and close the hands, using hooks that are operated when they [patients] shrug their shoulders, to articulated fingers."
Scientists at the RIC have developed a procedure, targeted muscle reinnervation (TMI), which reassigns nerves that controlled arms and hands to pectoral muscles.
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